Patricia Pope, DeKalb County schools’ embattled chief operations officer, is officially out as the district’s construction manager, at least temporarily. Officials have insisted Pope is still the system’s COO even as a criminal investigation of school construction programs has ramped up. Pope may still be COO, but a new interim construction boss, Barbara Colman, is named in a proposal to be presented tonight to the DeKalb Board of Education.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that DeKalb County’s development authority needs voter approval to sell bonds to pay off debt on a new performing arts center. But the impact of the decision could be much broader, requiring a public referendum for virtually any bond issue, including a controversial proposal to help the Sembler Co. complete its Town of Brookhaven mixed-use project with tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks.
Gene Walker has resigned as chairman of the DeKalb County Development Authority, two months after an uproar over his dual role as a member of the authority and the DeKalb Board of Education. Walker stepped down just days after the authority released a draft of guidelines for issuing property tax breaks as incentives for new development in DeKalb. The guidelines give the DeKalb County Commission a seat at the table, but make no mention of the Board of Education.